Paramedics to the rescue in Gujarat as doctors continue strike

March 4th, 2009 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, March 4 (IANS) About 2,000 paramedics from primary health centres across Gujarat have been engaged to attend to patients in government hospitals in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Surat towns, where medical services remained affected for the third day Wednesday due to an indefinite strike by junior doctors demanding higher pay.
“We have not let the patients suffer in any of the hospitals. The paramedics are trained to handle basic emergencies. The senior residents of the medical colleges attached to both government and municipal hospitals are working extra shifts to ensure that no problems are created by the absence of junior doctors,” a health department official told IANS on phone from capital Gandhinagar.

As many as 1,500 resident junior doctors went on an indefinite strike Monday, demanding a higher monthly stipend.

According to the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) here, the government has been paying Rs.9,600 per month as stipend to the junior doctors. They are demanding that it be raised to Rs.9,000-18,000 per month for the first year, Rs.10,000-20,000 in the second year and Rs.11,000-22,000 for the third year.

The JDA has been arranging visits to government hospital wards here by its members, who are apologising to patients for the inconvenience being caused on account of the strike.

“As a novel way of protest, we have started cleanliness drives in front of the hospitals in Ahmedabad. The striking doctors will also launch a campaign to make patients aware of the precautions to be taken to prevent an epidemic in their respective localities,” said a JDA spokesman.

The junior doctors also held a blood donation camp at the V.S. Hospital run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Tuesday and collected 72 bottles of blood for the patients.

“Our agitation will continue in a peaceful manner till our demand is met,” the JDA spokesman added.

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